Natham and Mariett (Huntoon) Montana Fitch, 9 North 48 West

The Fitch family had a fearless patriarch and three sons who rode herd over a massive spread northwest of Gillette. There in 1890, "with a gun and a rope and a hat full of hope, they planted their family tree."
The Fitch ranch remains - it oozed the romance, loyalty and courage that defined the American West.
Fitches extended that loyalty to the town they helped build - Gillette.
By 1890, Edward Fitch was ready to put down some roots. His father, Naham, had dragged his growing family across seven virtually uninhabited Western territories nine different times starting in 1859.
Naham Fitch had a restless soul - he'd lost both parents as a kid in Ohio and then married the daughter of a New Englander named Scribner Huntoon. Marietta managed to raise all seven children to adulthood as Naham bounced them across the prairie to Iowa; then to a freighting job in Nebraska City; down to Denver; up to Helena to run dairy cows; over to Utah to open a mercantile; back to Iowa; later to Kansas; back to Colorado to run cattle and finally, in 1879, to Nebraska again to run a boarding house.
Mary Sutherland and they had six children. One of them, Bill Fitch, later took over the ranch.
A Campbell County commissioner for six consecutive terms, Bill saw his grandfather's favorite town through 24 years and $1.4 billion of growth. His wife, Helen, was a local English teacher for 33 years. The 98-year-old ranch 37 miles west of town was sold recently by Glenn's grandchildren to Crump Land and Livestock.
The northernmost sections of the sprawling outfit went to eldest son Frank and his wife, Edna (Hardy), while Chuck chose a site on the bank of Wild Horse with his wife, Cora (Hall).
In 1919, Chuck and Frank joined with their father to greatly expand the Fitch holdings with the purchase of the Keelines' illustrious 4J Ranch south of Gillette. But just months later, everything unraveled.
Just as the sympathetic Hoss Cartwright would have, Chuck employed an African American cowpuncher named Walter Jackson, whose wife also cared for the Fitch children. Jackson had been the first black baby born in Montana Territory in 1887, the son of a former Texas trail hand who died before he was born.
"One day in 1919, Frank Fitch had sent me somewhere and was supposed to ride over and meet me there later, so when he didn't show up, I went back to see what happened," Jackson said. He saw Frank's horse at the barn, and entered to discover the body of 37-year-old Frank hanging from a rafter.
"They tore down that old barn," said Chuck's granddaughter, 84-year-old Pat Laramore. "As far as I know, they didn't have a clue why Frank took his life."
Frank's widow, Edna, sold his land to the Eaton family, who continue to winter their dude horses on the ranch. The health of Edward (or "Dunny" as the grandchildren called him, a nickname that stuck), 60, began failing in 1924 and that's when he and Chuck sold off the 4J Ranch. Edward died in 1925.
Chuck and Cora raised two children, Ed and Norma, and passed the original ranch on to Ed, who began running sheep with his wife, Zelma (Weaver), in the 1920s. Their only child, Pat, was born in 1927. Ed added to the ranch by claiming one of Campbell County's last homesteads in 1933 before the BLM took over federal lands.
"We soon found that our country was too rough to run sheep successfully," said Zelma, who noted that wolves, mountain lions and coyotes also ravaged the herds. "After a few years, we went back to raising cattle. And Chuck always had his horses, so every spring they'd gather them for branding and again in the fall for selling."
Where Chuck was a barrel of a man, Ed was tall and slender like his grandfather. The men sold thoroughbreds, wild Paint mustangs and remount studs. Ed campaigned racehorses throughout Montana and Canada, and Chuck crossed thoroughbred mares on his Percheron stallion, selling the offspring as light artillery horses.
"I can remember getting up with my cousin, Bob, on the roof of an old log barn to watch," said Pat. "You could see the dust and hear those horses gathered in the corral, 200 at a time as the cavalry officers looked them over. They wore tight pants and high-topped, polished boots with little spurs and riding crops. They were pretty out of place on the ranch."
Wild Horse is one of few Campbell County creeks with constant running water, so traveling to Gillette meant having the car dragged across the creek twice by a team of horses and opening and closing 13 gates along the way.
One thing the Fitches have had was women - seven generations of strong wives and mothers who have kept the ranch going for 121 years. If Phoebe was the ranch's shining light and old-fashioned Cora its biggest fan, Pat became its stalwart defender. The astute little girl was the shadow of her grandfather, Chuck.
"He would take her everywhere with him," said Pat's daughter Kandy, 56. "She learned almost everything she knew about how to ride and think and what to do from him."
Like her mother, Pat was a teacher and worked full-time to help support the ranch for more than 30 years as she and her husband, Bob Laramore, raised Kandy and her brother Kit, 58. When Ed had a heart attack in the 1960s and retired, Pat and Bob took over the ranch, switching from Hereford cattle to Angus.
"Mom has been the backbone of the ranch," Kandy said. "Not to take anything away from my dad, but she's always helped financially and been the strong one that kept everybody together."
As her parents aged and Bob was diagnosed with cancer in the 1990s, it was Kandy's turn. She had started out as a teacher, but forged a successful career in Denver in the oil and gas industry before returning to Gillette in 2000.
"I gave my great-grandmother Cora a promise," Kandy said. "She asked me to please take care of the ranch. I get all choked up talking about it. Dad got cancer and I knew then they were going to need some help."
Kandy moved back to the ranch full-time in 2004 with her husband, Darren Barton, and built a house across Wild Horse from her mother (Bob Laramore lives in Pioneer Manor). Kandy and Darren are partners with her parents on the ranch.
They run 250 to 300 head of cattle and are raising horses there for the first time since Kandy's grandfather's era. This time, they are high-performance roping and barrel racing mounts.
Over the decades, the quiet and solitude of the rough, craggy draws has been broken by methane service roads, and the teepee rings once so prominent are barely discernible on a nearby hill. Still, more families have maintained historic ranches in this 15-mile-long Wild Horse valley than perhaps any other in the county, including the Fitches, Floyds, Mooneys and Clabaughs.
Chuck and Cora Fitch's grand old log house - along with priceless family history in photos and books and silver - burned to the ground in the 1950s when a Wyoming wind fanned a spark from the coal stove. Ed and Zelma's old house was torn down five years ago.
"Practically everything has been replaced over the years," Pat said. "Not much is the same anymore on this creek."
Except, that is, for the family loyalty that spurred Johnny Cash to describe, in his own Bonanza lyrics, how the Cartwrights were always "riding along, four men strong, together." Kandy's son, Jeff Sanders, packs his own gun around the ranch when he can get away from his duties as a Marine in San Diego.
"To me, money doesn't mean as much as family does, and holding onto what you've learned throughout the generations," Kandy said. "That's pretty important to me. This ranch is part of our history and who we are and what we're made of."

Nathan Fitch was born at Paineville, Ohio, July 25, 1833. Died at Yakima, Washington, October 5th, 1914, having lived to the ripe old age of 81 years, 2 months and 10 days. In the year 1856 he was married to Mariett Hvntoon. To this union were born seven children, all of whom are still living. The early part of their married life the Fitches spent in Iowa. Later they moved to Nebraska, thence to Colorado, on to Montana, then to Utah. After traveling about a great deal, about 12 years ago they moved to Gillette, where some of their children are still living. Less than one year ago the wife preceded her husband to the next world. Since coming to Gillette both Grandfather and Grandmother Fitch made many close friends. They will be missed our midst. Mr. Fitch had only recently gone to Washington because he thought that he would like the place, and further because he thought that his health might be better. Funeral services were held on last Saturday at the Baptist church.
In 1860 Buchanan County, Iowa, Nahum M. Fitch is 26, Maryette 24, with Lucius H. 3 and Edgar L. 1.

In 1870 they're in Box Elder County, Utah - Naham is 35, Margaret 32, Lucius 14, Edger 12, Charles 10, Franklin 8, Montana 4, and Willie 3.
Nahum M. Fitch cash-claimed 120 acres in 20 and 21, 4N 56W (currently Morgan County) in 1876, and a quarter in 20, 4N 56W in 1878.

In 1880 Cheyenne County, Nebraska, Nathan Fitch is 49, Margrett 45, Edward 21, Charles 19, Frank 17, Montana 15, William 13, and Clara 4.
In 1885 Cheyenne County, Nebraska, N.M. is 52, farming, Margaret 50. With them are cowboys Chas 23, Frank 21, Montana 20, William 19 born in Colorado, and Cora 9, born in Colorado.
September 1888, Omaha Nebraska "N.M. Fitch, Alliance, was here with two loads of cows."

The 1890 list of farmers in Cheyenne County, Nebraska has N.M. and F.S. Fitch of Lodge Pole , and Charles Fitch of Sidney.

In 1910 Gillette Wyoming, Mrs. Nathan "Firch" is 73, born in New Hampshire, living alone.
"Nattore M. Fish" is also in Crook County, Wyoming in 1910, 75, living alone.
Naham Fitch 1834-1914 is buried in Gillette, Wyoming, # 83675099.
So is Mariett Fitch 1835-1913 # 83674772 -
"Mrs. Maryett Fitch, wife of N.M. Fitch, more affectionately known as Grandma Fitch, died at her home in this city early last Sunday, Nov. 30th, 1913 at the ripe age of 81 years. Death was attributed to her advanced age combined with stomach trouble.
She leaves a family of seven children and an aged husband besides a host of friends to mourn her departure from this life.
Funeral services were held at the Baptist church last Tuesday forenoon, conducted by Dr. Mills, and a large concourse of friends attended to pay their last tribute of respect to one whom they dearly loved in this life.

In 1880 Cheyenne County, Nebraska, "Luke" Fitch is a cattleman, 29, with Cora 19.

On the same page as Naham in 1885 Cheyenne County, Nebraska are Lute Fitch, 29, born in Iowa, a butcher, with Cora 24 Michigan, Cora 4, and Osa 1 - daughter, both born in Nebraska.
Lute is a miner in 1900 Teller County, Colorado, born July 1856, with Cora March 1861, Osa July 1884, Abbie June 1887, and Lutie June 1889.
In 1910 Goldfield Nevada, Lucius is a butcher, with Cora 49 and Lucius 21 a miner.

In 1920 Long Beach, California, Lucius H. Fitch is a grocery merchant, 61 Cora 57 a confectioner, with her father Eland E. Osgood 80, born in Michigan, a clerk.
Cora's father Eland P. Osgood 1840-1923 is buried in Long Beach # 105721660. "Died Aug. 30, 1923 at his home, 320 1/2 Linden Ave. Aged 84. Born in Michigan, he came to California 12 years ago and lived in Long Beach for 4 months. He was a Civil War veteran and a member of the I.O.O.F. lodge. Survived by his widow, Roan Osgood; daughter Mrs. Clara Fitch, 322 Linden Ave.; son Milton Osgood of Orange Cove; sister Mrs. Anna Brush of Chicago."

In 1930 Long Beach, Lucius and Cora are alone.
One tree said Lucius died in 1938.

In 1940 Long Beach, Cora is living alone, widowed, 78, next to Frank M. 62 and Osa E. 56 Fishback.

March 12, 1948, Long Beach, California "Mrs. Cora,Belle Fitch of 524 West Sixth She was a member of St Bartholomew's Catholic parish and was born in Michigan and came to Long Beach 37 years ago from Colorado Springs ; two daughters, Mrs. Abagale Fishback and Mrs. Osa E. Fishback, both of Long Beach; two grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Private services conducted in Motlell's chapel. Friends are requested to omit flowers."

Osa Etta Fitch married Frank McCleary Fishback Oct 22, 1904, recorded in El Paso County.
Abigail Belle Fitch married Joseph Cobb Fishback October 9, 1904, recorded in El Paso County.
In 1912 Osa Fishback opened a photo concesion at the upper part of the Manitou Incline railwasy, taking pictures of the arriving car load of tourists and printing them for sale when the passengers came back down.

Frank Fishback is a real estate broker in 1930 Long Beach, California, 53, Kentucky, with Osa 44, Nebraska.
The Long Beach Municipal cemetery has Frank M. Fishback 1855-1961 in plot L-42A.

Osa E. Fishback, born July 15, 1884, died in Long Beach February 1, 1971.
Joseph Cobb Fishback registered for WWI in Long Beach, living at 435 Olive Lane, born Oct 26, 1877, a carpenter, with Abigail .
In 1920 Long Beach, Joseph is 38, a building contractor, Abbie 32. Eva is 12, born in Utah, and Mary Rivera 9 born in Mississippi is a boarder.
In 1940 Long Beach, Joseph is 58, a building contractor, Abigail 52. Their daughter Eva 32 born in Utah is married to Louis A. Wheeler, 31 Massachusetts, and they have two sons.
He registered for WWII in Long Beach, born Oct 26, 1881 in Arlington, Massachusetts. Eva Wheeler of Long Beach was his contact. He was working at the Cyclone Racer in Long Beach.
Millard Sprague Osgood was born at Sterling, Colorado Sept 26, 1875 to Eland P. Osgood and Ione I. Bishop.
Millard S. Osgood had married Mina K. Elter in Cheyenne County Nebraska between 1889 and 1906.
Millard and Nina K. are dairy farming in Tulare County, California in 1910, married eight years , with Gladys 7 and Richard W. 3, both born in Nebraska.
In 1920 they are dry farming in Cochise County, Arizona, with Richard 13, Phylllis 8, and Lois 6.

Millard is in Santa Barbara, California in 1930, 52, a horseman, married but no spouse. Nina is teaching in Fresno, with Phyllis 18 and Lois 16.
In 1940 Millard, Nina, and Lois are in Fresno.

University of Illinois Alumni Newsletter "Zona Gale Stevenson, '29-'30, was married on April 10, 1932, to Mr. Lucius Fitch. They are making their home in Des Moines, Iowa."

The Long Beach Municipal Cemetery has "Lucuis" E. Fitch 1889-1948. and Annie Laura Fitch 1889-1979., wtih Marguerite H. Fitch 1914-1995.
Phyllis I. Osgood was born in Los Angeles April 21, 1911, mother Eller.

Phyllis is married to David A. Wedel in 1940 Fresno, with LeRoy 7. She's a fruit packer.

Phyllis I. Wedel born April 21, 1911, died in Santa Clara County October 8, 1983.
She's buried in Chehalis, Washington # 70010286. So are David and LeRoy.


Monte Fitch was born Jan 21, 1868 in Helena, Montana to Nayham Fitch and Maryette Newton.

February 8, 1890 "Mont Fitch came down Monday from his Cedar creek ranch to visit with his wife for a few days and talk on business with our mercha nts in regard to the price of butter and eggs. He departed for home Wednesday morning in company with his wife."

1899 Sterling, Colorado "Mrs. Mont Fitch was quite sick with a chill this morning."
1900 Sterling
1899 Sterling "Mont Fitch came home from Denver Saturday to spend Xmas and the holidays with his family and friends." (Maybe in boarding school?)
1890 Sterling "Mont Fitch are visiting in the city this week, and of course took in the Opera Thursday."
November 30, 1889 Sterling

September 29, 1899 - Among those going to Denver to the Carnival were Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Fitch ...Mrs. Mont Fitch.. One hundred tickets have been sold to the carnival already. It is estimated that over 200 Sterlingites will go. The Colorado Special was crowded Sunday morning and many of the passengers were furnished seats in the sleepers free."

December 29, 1899 "Mont Fitch came home from Denver Saturday to spend Xmas and the holidays with his family and friends."

June 1900 Sterling, Colorado "Mont Fitch came down from the Buttes country last night to visit his family.
1900 "Mont Fitch returned home last night from Lincoln, Neb., where he had been with a shipment of steers."

Montana had a cancelled document for a quarter in 17, 9N 48W in 1908, Logan County, Colorado.

That was because it was recorded as 9N 48W, instead of the correct 9N 58W in Weld County.
Montana was in Logan County in 1900, a cattle herder, born Feb 1867 in Montana, married ten years to Lizzie August 1870 Indiana. They have Paul July 1891 and Mabel December 1896, both born in Colorado. Lizzie's sister Flora Hudspeth, 23 is living with them.

April 13, 1900 "Mont Fitch, foreman for W. C. Harris in the Buttes country, was in the city from Raymer last night. Mont has charge of 4,000 head of Harris' cattle in that section. He has rounded up and dehorned 2,200 head of the Parker-Harris steers the past week."

April 27, 1900 "Mont Fitch came in from Raymer Saturday night and will brand 700 head of calves at Merino for W.C. Haris."

In 1910, still in Logan County, Mont and Lizzie have Paul 18, Mable 13, Mariett 6, and Lizzie's widowed mother Caroline Hudspeth, 73.
(Caroline 1836-1919 is buried in Sterling # 54927063.)
So is Elizabeth (Hudspeth) Fitch 1870-1917 # 116833055.

Monte Fitch married Ida Hall November 28, 1918, recorded in Denver.

In 1920 Montana is in Norwood, Colorado, farming, 51, married to ida 31 born in Nebraska. Maryette 16 is with them.
1922 "Monte Fitch , Norwood cattleman , returned Sunday night from a trip into the Dolores section , and Monday morning left to continue his journey to the mesa metropolis."

In 1930 Norwood, Montana is a stockman, 62, with Ida 40 and son Monte E. 10.
In 1940 Norwood, Monte, Ida, and Monte Edgar are on the San Miguel County Poor Farm in Norwood.

Montana 1862-1945 is buried with Lizzie in Sterling, with no headstone # 116832929.
1899 "Paul Fitch went to Denver this morning to visit friends a few days. Miss Nora will attend a Labor Day banquet in Denver Monday."

Paul R. 1891-1916 is also buried in Sterling # 57718684.

Ida H. (Tucker) Fitch 1887-1973 is buried in Norwood, Colorado # 26072815.
"Excerpts from Montrose Daily Press obituary printed 2/12/1973 Ida A Tucker was born Sept 13 1887 in Nebraska and died in Santa Fe, NM where she had lived for three weeks. She married Montana Fitch on Nov 28 1919. He passed away in 1945. She was a registered nurse. "

Frank S. Fitch married Mary Bohlken in Cheyenne County, Nebraska between 1889 and 1906.

Frank Fitch is in Logan County in 1900, farming, born Sept 1864 in Nebraska, married 4 years to Mary 28, Illinois.
Frank and Mary are in Campbell County, Wyoming in 1920 and 1930, farming, living alone.

FindaGrave # 104910343 has Frank 1853-1943 buried in Gillette. So is Mary # 83675296 1871-1948

Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon from the First Christian church for Mrs. Mary Bohlken Fitch, affectionately known as Aunt Mary. She passed away on January 31 after a brief illness.
The Rev. Noah E. Hall officiated. The familiar hymns, "The Old Rugged Cross," "Sweet Hour of Prayer," and "Beautiful Isle of Somewhere," were sung by Mrs. Roy Underwood and Mrs. Effie Long, accompanied on the piano by Mrs. Lewis Grams, and friends acting as pallbears were Glenn Barlow, Wm. H. Underwood, Lee Gates, James Cole, Dwight Hines and Allen Hunter. Interment was made in Mt. Pisgah Cemetery.
She was born in Adams County, Illinois in 1871, daughter of George and Catherine Bohlken. Her marriage to Frank S. Fitch took place at Lodge Pole, Nebraska in 1891.
They came to Wyoming in 1910, after making their home in Nebraska during their early married life, and engaged in farming near Recluse until 1932, when Mr. Fitch's health made it necessary for them to move to Gillette.
She was preceded in death by her husband in January 1943. Surviving members of her family are two brothers and a sister in Missouri, a sister in Saskatchewan, Canada and a number of nieces and nephews. Mrs. J.S. Floyd of Gillette is asister-in-law. "


The Gillette News March 26, 1925
Edward Fitch, one of the best known pioneers of north-eastern Wyoming, died in a hospital in Council Bluffs, Iowa, last Saturday after an illness of more than a year.
Mr. Fitch suffered a stroke of paralysis in January, 1924. Since that time he spent most of his time in California in an effort to regain his health. A few months ago he ws brot to Council Bluffs, Iowa, where another stroke hastened the end of his life. His son, N.M. Fitch, was with him during the last two weeks of his illness, and accompanied the remains back to Gillette for burial.
Not only was Mr. Fitch a pioneer, but he was the son of a pioneer. He was born in Des Moines, Iowa, April 14, 1859. When he was a small boy he came west with his father, first to Colorado and then to Sidney, Nebr. His father freighted from Sidney to the Black Hills country, and the son often went along on these trips which were full of the dangers existing in a primitive country. When the northern Colorado country was infested with great droves of wild horses, Edward Fitch joined with others in rounding up herds and shipping them to eastern markets.
Mr. Fitch was married in Sterling, CO, on December 25, 1880, (Colorado records show January 26, 1881 to "Feeby" Mathews) to Miss Phoebe Mathews. Six children were born to them, three dying in infancy. N.M. Fitch and Glenn Fitch both live on ranches north-west of Gillette; another son, Frank, died several years ago. He is also survived by six gradchildren and by his sister, Mrs. J.S. Floyd of Echeta, and by W.E. Fitch of Sterling, CO, Elmo Fitch of Moorcroft; Frank Fitch of Recluse; Chas. Fitch of Los Angeles, CA, Lute Fitch of Long Beach, CA; and Mont Fitch of Nowood, CO.
The deceased came to what is now Campbell county in the year 1891. His father had been operating a chain of stores from the Dakota line as far west as the railroad extended at that time. He was one of the most prominent ranchers of this part of the state. For a long time he operated the S Bar outfit, and a few years ago purchased the old Four Jay ranch.
Funeral services were conducted at the Baptist Church, George T. Gibson conducting the ceremony. Many friends of the old days came to town to pay their last respects to one who did much to build up this part of the state. Out-of-town relatives who attended the funeral included W.E. Fitch, Elmo Fitch, Frank Fitch, Mrs. J.S. Floyd, N.M. Fitch and Glenn Fitch.


Charles cash-claimed 80 acres in 12, 7N 53W in 1885, a quarter in 1, 7N 53W in 1888, and another 80 acres in 2, 7N 53W in 1896.
March 1, 1890 Sterling "Charles Fitch and his sister of Kimball accompanied by a lady friend, are doing the city this week. They attended the Opera Thursday evening and pronounced it first-class."

1890 Sterling "Charley Fitch went over to Alliance, Nebraska to visit with his parents for a week or two.

Chas. Fitch married Abbie McCrea on July 5, 1891, recorded in Logan County.

1899 Sterling "Mrs. Ella McCrea-Barrett, sister of Mrs. Chas. Fitch, returned to her Denver home this morning after a visit with relatives."
In 1900 Logan County, Charles , born Jan 1861 in Iowa, farming married nine years to Abbie Dec 1868 Iowa, have Pansy Sept 1892, Elmer N. Oct 1894, and Fern A. July 1898 , all three born in Colorado.
In 1910 Los Angeles, California, Charles is a teamster, 49, Abbie R. 41, Pansy A. 17, Elmo L. 15, Fern A. 11, and Caryl I. 7.

Charles is a truck driver in 1920 Los Angeles 58, Abbie 51, Fern A. 2 a clerk, and Caryl I. 17.
Charles born in 1861, dying Sept 1, 1943 in Los Angeles County, is buried in Sylmar, California # 143015055, with Abbie Ruth Fitch born 1869 # 143015023, dying Oct 7, 1959. The California death index has her mother as Altemus, father McCrea.

Fort Morgan Colorado October 23, 1884 "Bill Fitch and three other men have their hands full ia trying to keep the rawhides off the burned range opposite Denver Junction . Nine thousand and ninety-five head were put on here by the Brush and Johnson outfits . The grass started after the tire and the cattle are crazy for it . A force will soon be put on and the cattle will be driven up the river ."

William cash-claimed a quarter in 9, 11N 55W - Logan County - in 1888.
1889 Sterling "Bill Fitch returned this week from Sidney, where he has been visiting his mother."

1890 "Will Fitch has gone up to Newcastle Wyoming, where he expects to reside this winter."

William E. Fitch married Rose Batten Jan 16, 1892, recorded in Logan County, Colorado.

In 1900 Logan County, William is a stock raiser, born April 1864 in Montana, married eight years to Rosa Aug 1874 England. They have Lester Jan 1898 and Neva L. April 1900, both born in Colorado.
1900 Sterling "Deputy Sheriff William Fitch sold his ranch this morning to Henry Therkorn for $1,000."

July 6, 1900 the Fourth of July celebration included many events "To many the principal event of the day was the roping contest. Wild steers were turned out of the U. P. stock yards. Whoever should rope and hogtie a steer in the shortest time won first prize. Deputy Sheriff Fitch, a veteran cowman, turned the trick in 40 seconds, Len Sherwin was second, 1:20, Mont Fitch third in 2:05. Jim Arnold was unlucky. Twice horse, rider and steer turned somersaults, but luckily he was uninjured." 1902 "Cattle Inspectors Hartman of Denver and Bill Fitch of Sterling, with the assistance of Sheriff Lamphere have made what they think a good catch. For several years a gang of cattle rustlers have been operating near Wray and the state line, but the officers have always failed when it came to locating the guilty parties. The cattle would not disappear in bunches, but ranchmen have lost from one to three at a time, never finding any trace of them. At about 11 o clock Saturday night Ed Porter, Bill Toner and Charlie Grant drove some cattle from the hills into the stock yards at Wray and as they were in the act of loading these cattle into a car were confronted by guns in the hands of Hartman , Fitch and Lamphere. The irons were put on Porter and Toner to make sure that they did not get away. It appears that Grant had nothing to do with the stealing but merely put in enough of his stock to help the other two make up a car. The cattle the other two brought in were clipped and the brands show that not a hoof belonged to Porter or Toner. Sheriff Lamphere and the Stock Association of this county, and officers and associations of other counties have made np their minds to run the rustlers off the face of the earth, and if the catch at Wray proves to be all right, no doubt the rest of the gang will be dug up . Porter and Toner were given a hearing before Justice Griggsby, who held them on nine counts each ; placing them each under twenty-seven hundred dollar-bonds. The preliminary will be held today. Charlie Grant merely played the Nick Carter act in the deal. "

In 1910 Sterling Colorado, William is a cattle dealer, 42, Rose 32, Lester 12, Lucille 9, and Everett 6.
W.E. is a state stock inspector in 1920 Sterling with Rose, Lester, and Everett.
In 1930 Sterling, William is 63, a cattle dealer, with Rose 50, Lucille 28, Lester 30, and "daughter " Rosalie 10, born in Colorado, father Nebraska, mother Colorado. Rosalie Spelts is a teacher in 1940 Sterling, 20.

William 1867-1931 is buried in Sterling # 58285938, with Rose B. (Batten( Fitch 1875-1970.
Their daughter Lucile (Fitch) Piper Spelts 1900-1958 is also buried there.
W. Everett Fitch 1903-1968 # 58170332 and his wife Elaine (Whittier) Fitch 1905-1994 are buried in Sterling.


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